The Great Reinvention
On New Year’s Eve we frequently hear much about people excited that the year is behind them. I almost never hear:
“That year was so great, I wish it wouldn’t end”
Are we always so hopeful that what is coming is better than what we already have?
Yes, I think we are and I believe it is the American way. Being hopeful, positive and open is what makes this Country great. A great expectation of things to come is one of the traits I admire most in the entrepreneurs and business leaders I work with.
We are optimists although the media is doing it’s damnedest to change that.
For example did anyone hear that there wasn’t one case of polio in the entire continent of Africa or that German Measles has been eliminated in the Americas?
We approved same sex marriage so now there is no gay marriage, there is only marriage.
This was a great year for women!
Women in Saudi Arabia were able to vote and run for office for the very first time. Amazingly 19 women won the offices they ran for, no small feat considering the modesty laws that don’t allow them to speak directly to men!
Nepal voted in a woman President, Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel becomes Time Magazine’s Person of the Year called Man of the Year up until 1999.
Adele blew the doors off an otherwise mediocre year (again) in music sales.
Viola Davis (unbelievably) became the first black woman to win an Emmy.
Caitlyn Jenner, period.
For me it was a great year…as usual most of my greatest lessons come from those I teach, coach or consult for and those who coach me!
My biggest lesson last year was ….
PUT THE MASK ON YOURSELF BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO HELP OTHERS
I’ll be honest. In my career…the self employed part of the last 22 years, I have had my ups and downs like most. At the turn of the millennial until the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 I was up, way up. Then things got weird. The rules started changing fast. My early adopter referral sources and clients at Fortune 500 companies had turned into status quo guys. They were getting older and their jobs were at stake and doing anything new or different was a risk. They stopped buying anything from anyone. Plus, I had moved from beautiful Laguna Beach back home to NYC. It is likely that I didn’t realize the wide gap I was stretching over. I told anyone who would listen that this would be a 10 year correction. Batten down the hatches and reinvent yourself. Look at the market and where you can serve.
Like many great advisors, I don’t always take my own advice.
I opened an office on Broadway in Manhattan and continued the work I was doing in Sales Efficiency and Sales Automation. From there things got bleaker: Hurricane Sandy left me homeless for 40 days, back surgery and the loss of a very close friend knocked me on my ass. Anyone who knows me, knows that it takes a village to knock me out.
Interesting how that happens when you really need to think and focus on yourself it doesn’t always come in the form of a vacation.
During that time I met some amazing people. New friends who didn’t know the high flying deal making, sold her company and spent a month at a time in Italy-Karin. These friends only knew me as being in the middle of a reinvention. I was raw and vulnerable. Some of these folks flew to visit me, propped me up and pepped me up. As I began to heal from this dip…I came across some client notes and started to follow the processes I had always taught. Who was my ideal buyer now? What problems could I solve for them? How would they know if I could help them?
As I recovered I asked myself all the questions I had drilled my clients on over many years.
Wow I thought…I’m self coaching! During this time I also worked with some great coaches who helped me tremendously.
In 2016, my most recent realignment shifted me towards working with women business leaders and entrepreneurs to help them have the business and life they’ve always dreamed of. Pivoting multiple times over the last three years brought me here. When I began looking at where my work was most effective, where my clients were most changed and where my energy made the most difference the answers became obvious. I believe we all have a purpose and a mission in our lives but finding that purpose can be painful, exhausting and challenging.
Over the years, I’ve noticed my clients invited me into their lives. I was never strictly a business coach. Entrepreneurs don’t have work/ life, their work is their life. We are no longer in an age where you have a business and professional life that has strict boundaries. No one ever interrupted my Mom’s dinner with work questions! It happens every night now in most homes in America. In 1990 if you were a work buddy who ran into me in the street on a Saturday you would say: Karin, I didn’t recognize you! Yeah the work clothes and the fun clothes were very different. We are no longer pie charts and work life balance won’t work. My clients need a 360 approach not three different coaches for life, business and health. I realize now this transition could not have occurred if I wasn’t doing for myself what I did for others: self care and reflection are critical aspects of business. Business is not just about producing but thinking, questioning and being in the silence to hear the answers.
Sales effectiveness? What was I thinking?! I wasn’t, I was just doing, producing and drowning.
I am so excited about this year and completing my reinvention. The pure joy I get from working with young women and women just like me who are stuck and need a reinvention drives my every move. My commitment is to share what I learn as I keep learning, to keep reinventing myself to serve my clients, my community and those I mentor in the most powerful way I can.
I am, after all, a work in progress.